Ciprian Andrei Marica (Romanian pronunciation: [t͡ʃipriˈan anˈdrej ˈmarika]; born 2 October 1985) is a Romanian former professional footballer. He played mainly as a second striker or a winger, but he was also used as a centre forward at the Romania national team.
Marica with Schalke in 2011
|Full name||Ciprian Andrei Marica|
|Date of birth||2 October 1985|
|Place of birth||Bucharest, Romania|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Marica's first professional club team was Dinamo București, from the city in which he was born. He started to gain attention even though he only played 23 games (scoring four goals) in three years with the club.
Ciprian transferred to the Ukrainian top club and played his so far best seasons with them. He gained international experience, getting to play in the UEFA Cup European competition.
On 23 July 2007, he transferred to German club VfB Stuttgart, after his former club, Shakhtar Donetsk, rejected another offer, from English team Derby County amongst interest from Manchester City. Marica signed a 5-year contract. Stuttgart sporting director Horst Heldt said: "Ciprian is a very flexible forward, and a permanent thorn in the side of any opposition defence, who fits outstandingly into our team. He wanted to join us desperately."
Marica made his debut for VfB in the Bundesliga on 12 August 2007, in a home game against Schalke 04 (2–2). In his first season, he got plenty of appearances (28), scoring only two goals in those (plus one goal in the UEFA Champions League, which led Stuttgart to their win against the Rangers F.C.).
After this first failed season then-coach Armin Veh mistrusted Marica, giving him only few appearances. Things seemed to get better after the sacking of Veh. New coach Markus Babbel entrusted him to play instead of Cacau, but Marica again failed to impress.
Only after Christian Gross replaced Babbel as VfB coach, Marica got a new chance, mainly profiting by long-time injury of Cacau. This time Marica didn't disappoint his coach, scoring, inter alia, four goals in three consecutive matches. (Two goals in a 2–0 victory for VfB on 20 March 2010 match in Bundesliga against Hannover 96, the winning goal on 27 March 2010 away at Bayern Munich and the equalizing goal in a 2–1 victory against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 3 April 2010.)
On 12 July 2011, Marica was released from his contract at Stuttgart.
On 28 July 2011, Marica signed a two-year contract with German club Schalke 04, worth €5m. He chose to remain in Germany, despite having offers from Premier League club Blackburn Rovers, and other two French clubs such as Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain.
In a match against Maccabi Haifa, on 14 December, Marica scored one goal, to help his team to a 3–0 win. On 29 January 2012, Marica scored a double against 1. FC Köln Although Lukas Podolski opened the score in the first half, Marica made it 2–1 for FC Schalke 04, with the game eventually ending in a 4–1 win for his team. Towards the end of his contract with the team he received interest from teams such as Shakhtar, Lazio and Inter.
On 27 September 2013, Marica signed a contract with Spanish La Liga side Getafe. He made his Getafe debut on 6 October as a substitute in the 3–1 win against Betis Sevilla. On 31 October, Marica scored his first league goal in a 2–0 away win against Villarreal. In May 2014, he scored twice in a 2–1 win over Rayo Vallecano, keeping Getafe out of the relegation zone.
In the summer of 2014, Marica signed a two-year contract with Turkish side Konyaspor. On 15 October 2015, he was released by Konyaspor. Marica played only seven games in 14 months for the Turkish side, mainly because of his injuries.
On 14 January 2016, Marica reached an agreement with Steaua Bucharest, thus returning to a Romanian club after 12 years. He became the 59th footballer to play for both big Bucharest rivals, Dinamo and Steaua. In his first match with Steaua, a 2-0 victory against CS Concordia Chiajna, he played from the start and was replaced after 84 minutes. His performance was deemed weak and conservative, as he only managed to get two opportunities in a game in which he was otherwise unremarkable.
Marica scored 25 goals in 72 caps. He made his debut on 16 November 2003, in a friendly game with Italy played in Ancona and won by Squadra Azzurra 1–0. Marica was introduces in the 81st minute, replacing Daniel Pancu. His first goal for the national team came on 17 November 2004, in a match against Armenia.
On 25 March 2008, he was awarded the "Meritul Sportiv", class III medal, by the president of Romania, Traian Băsescu for the results on Qualifying to EURO 2008 and qualification to UEFA Euro 2008 Group C.
|Club||Season||League||Cup||League Cup||Europe||Super Cup||Total|
|Dinamo București||2001–02||Divizia A||2||0||0||0||–||–||–||2||0|
|Shakhtar Donetsk||2003–04||Vyscha Liha||12||4||2||0||–||–||1||0||15||4|
|Steaua Bucharest||2015–16||Liga I||7||0||1||0||1||0||–||–||9||0|
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- "Ciprian Marica - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
- "C. Marica". Soccerway. Retrieved 28 September 2014.